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April 27, 2012 at 6:00 AM

How many bacon-wrapped dates can you eat in 30 minutes?

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Curt Doughty photo, courtesy of Pintxo

In the world of competitive eating, it’s a big deal if you can eat 9 pounds of deep-fried asparagus or 5.9 pounds of funnel cake in 10 minutes. But if you had 30 minutes, and the challenge was to eat bacon-wrapped dates, could you eat 50 or more? If so, you may have a shot at… even more bacon-wrapped dates, when Pintxo, the Belltown tapas bar, celebrates its second anniversary May 6. If you’re among the first 50 guests after the 5 p.m. opening, you’ll get free paella. At 6 p.m., 12 pre-selected contestants will start downing dates. The contest winner gets fame (at least in major-league-eating circles) and fortune (a year’s supply of the dates, in the form of one free serving per day, valued at $1,500 if you take advantage of them all.)

Gobbling 50 of the savory snacks is apparently possible, because Pintxo did a similar contest for its first birthday party last year. Competitive eating site Eat Feats says winner Brandon Mambelli ate 51, with runner-up April Dyer at a mere 35. If it doesn’t sound like a challenge at first bite, note that Jameson Fink pegged it as 3 full pounds of bacon, dates, and cheese.

Interested in trying out for this year’s fea(s)t?

Three contestents will be randomly chosen from Pintxo’s Facebook page, Twitter feed, and blog by May 1. Directions for how to enter are here. Eight others will be able to enter after paying a $15 fee. And watch out for the 12th — last year’s winner, Mambelli, gets the spot to defend his title.

Bon appetit. And if you need practice, I’ve also always been fond — in moderation! — of the blue-cheese-bacon version at Oliver’s Twist.

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